SFC semi-final: Brews Hill boys dig out narrow win

October 14, 2012

Navan O'Mahony's Sean Keating is under pressure from Donaghmore Ashbourne's Colm O'Mealoid during the Meath SFC semi final at Pairc Tailteann
Navan O'Mahonys ............... 0-10
Donaghmore Ashbourne ....... 0-9

Displaying considerable character Navan O'Mahonys dug out a minimum margin win over Donaghmore-Ashbourne in the first hoganstand.com SFC semi-final at Pairc Tailteann on Sunday.

In a close finale Navan O'Mahonys overcame strong Donaghmore-Ashbourne challenge to hit the front for the first time through Stephen Bray in the 52nd minute, 0-9 to 0-8.

Donaghmore-Ashbourne wing-back Eoin Reilly landed a 58th minute '45' to tie the scores for only the second time in the hour. It was left to Paddy Smyth - captain of the O'Mahonys 2008 Keegan Cup winning-side - to send over the winning score seconds later.

The three minutes of stoppage time proved dramatic as Sean Kelly's charges went in search of a match-winning score. John Broderick had the ball in the O'Mahonys net but referee Cormac Reilly deemed that David Morgan's pass was thrown.

Ciaran Ellis struck the post with a late attempt to force extra time and O'Mahonys held out to secure a final spot.

The outcome was tough on Donaghmore-Ashbourne who looked the more likely match-winners for much of the hour while all bar one of their scores came from play.

A significant factor was the impact of the O'Mahonys' subs, in particular Barry Regan who joined the fray at half-time and capped a fine display with a point from play that kicked started the Navan side's recovery and leave them just 0-5 to 0-7 in arrears after 38 minutes.

When another replacement, Shane Gillespie pointed the margin was down to the minimum. The first of Donaghmore-Ashbourne's two second-half scores - Ciaran Ellis' third of the hour - kept some distance between the sides.

Alan Forde left just a point in it again before wing-back Gary O'Brien levelled matters for the first time, 0-8 each, midway through the half.

Stephen MacGabhann provided the opening for Stephen Bray to put David Nelson's men in front for the first time, in the 52nd minute to set a dramatic finale in motion.

Donaghmore-Ashbourne were quick off the mark with points from John Broderick and Andrew Tormey within 90 seconds of the off.

Before the end of the fifth minute, Tormey had added his second. O'Mahonys first scoring chance arrived in the 6th minute when Jake Regan was on target with a close range free.

When Tormey posted his third point, in the 11th minute, it was 0-5 to 0-1 to Donaghmore-Ashbourne. At the start of the second quarter a foul on Brian Dillon led to a free which Regan pointed from out on the right.

Donaghmore-Ashbourne's sixth score from play left it 0-6 to 0-2 after 19 minutes with Cathal Field registering.

Seconds later came O'Mahonys' first score from play when Regan posted his third of the contest. The margin was down to just two when Stephen Bray landed a free from the left.

It could have been better for O'Mahonys but Sean Keating was wide with a point attempt in the next play. The Brews Hill side made the next attack but Bray couldn't capitalise on Steven O'Toole's run.

Another chance was passed up by O'Mahonys when Jake Regan blazed wide with a goal attempt after Alan Forde and Paddy Smyth did the ground work.

A measure of Donaghmore-Ashbourne's economy is that their first wide didn't arrive until the 26th minute. A failure to clear resulted in a seventh point for the team in green and white, Ciaran Ellis was the scorer.

It proved to the final score of a half where O'Mahonys registered four wides to Donaghmore-Ashbourne's three with the latter leading by 0-7 to 0-4 at the break.

Navan O'Mahonys - M. Brennan; S. O'Toole, N. McKeigue, I. Matthews; B. Dillon, S. Crosby, G. O'Brien (0-1); S. MacGabhann, D. Moran; P. Smyth (0-1), A. Forde (0-1), D. Maguire; J. Regan (0-3, 2fs), S. Bray (0-2, 1f), S. Keating. Subs - C. McGuinness for Moran (12), S. Gillespie (0-1) for Maguire (29), B. Regan (0-1) for Matthews (ht), D. Smyth for Keating (39), H. Finnegan for J. Regan (56).

Donaghmore-Ashbourne - A. Colgan; E. Riordan, C. McGill, S. Curran; E. Reilly (0-1, 45), B. Menton, P. Gilligan; D. Morgan, C. O Mealoid; C. Ellis (0-3), E. Callaghan, C. Field (0-1); C. Beirne, J. Broderick (0-1), A. Tormey (0-3). Subs - K. Lanigan for Callaghan (39), R. O'Connor for Beirne (55).

Referee - C. Reilly (St Mary's).

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